Police say ATV, dirt bike issue nears ‘urban terrorism’

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Calling it a form of “urban terrorism,” area police departments are teaming up to crack down on those who illegally ride ATVs and dirt bikes on Connecticut streets.

“We don’t think it’s a quality of life issue,” East Haven police chief Brent Larrabee said at a news conference Thursday. “We think it’s really almost urban terrorism, the way they surround cars now.”

East Haven joins police departments in New Haven, Hamden, Branford, West Haven, North Haven and North Branford in an initiative that in part depends on the public.

“Take a photo,” New Haven police chief Dean Esserman said. “Let us know when you see a neighbor whose child has a dirt bike in the garage, when a truck wheels in and brings out (a dirt bike or ATV), give us the license plate.”

There’s already been a number of arrests, police say.

“I think its very dangerous,” said Hamden resident De’Sean Rouse. “I think a lot of times you can get these things without a proper license, without proper insurance, and these kinds of bikes are just a hazard on the road.”

So why are these riders taking to the street? Is it all a matter of showboating? David Macquarrie doesn’t agree with that theory. The owner of New Haven Power Sports says there are not enough trails for riders to ride on.

“There is no place in Connecticut where they have this racing,” Macquarrie said. “There is not even any open space.”

Good luck using that excuse with police.

AJ Walker reporting

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